Book Report | October 2014

With the end of the month now upon us (where did October go??), it’s time for my monthly Book Report!  This month was all about mysteries, which was not intentional!  I enjoyed all of these and will fess up to numerous late nights because I just had to get in 1 more page (you know what I’m talking about, right?).  So, if you’re on the hunt for a good book, take a look through these and hopefully one (or more) will strike your fancy!

BookReport-Oct2014

The Cuckoo’s Calling (by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)

CuckoosCallingThe Cuckoo’s Calling came recommended from a fellow reading friend, so I had to check it out! Ummm…yeah…I couldn’t put it down.  Even though J.K. Rowling is most recognized as the author of the young adult Harry Potter series, this book is definitely not a young adult book and dives into the dark world of murder and mystery.  It all centers around Cormoran Strike, a down on his luck private investigator in London.  After losing his fiance, his home, and almost his business, luck finally lands on his side in the form of a high profile case.  The client…the brother of a world famous supermodel that recently leaped to her death from her balcony.  Or did she?  The brother swears his sister couldn’t have killed herself and hires Comorran to find the truth.  To help him out, he hires a secretary from a local temp agency, Robin.  She has a thirst for detective work having read plenty of mystery books and watching who-donits on TV.  But, she proves herself to be quite useful and between the two of them, they dive into the muck to figure out exactly what happened.

What I really liked about this book…aside from the story…was that the author didn’t give away too many details so you really were waiting until the end to find out exactly what happened!  While it can be fun to try to figure out who is the bad guy, I actually do like being surprised at the end! I really enjoyed the chemistry between Cormoran and Robin and look forward to more stories centered around these two crime solvers!

The Silkworm (by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)

TheSilkwormIf you decide to read The Cuckoo’s Calling (or if you already have) and you like it, then you have to read The Silkworm!  This is the follow up book, and while it is a completely different storyline and plot, Cormoran Strike and Robin return for another who-done-it that will have you staying up late burning the midnight oil!

Less than a year after successfully solving the Lula Landry case (from The Cuckoo’s Calling), Strike and Robin are riding high on a bustling business and more cases than they can {almost} handle.  One morning, a rather haggard women drops in wanting to hire Strike to find her husband, famous author, Owen Quine.  Owen is a bit of a character and has a tendency to run out on his wife for days at a time.  His wife assumes that is the case again, but is tired of dealing with the household and their mentally challenged daughter on her own, so she wants Strike to find him.  But, as Strike starts poking into things, he realizes there’s a lot more going on than his wife assumed.  His recently completely novel has made the circuits at his publishing firm and is rumored to contain some vicious characters that closely resemble fellow colleagues and friends.  It wouldn’t be surprising for someone portrayed in the book to want revenge on Quine.  After Quine is discovered brutally murdered, Strike is on a non-stop hunt to find the killer before they strike again!  Robin, goes along for the ride as she hones her investigative skills, while still assuming the role of Strike’s secretary.

I didn’t like this one as much as The Cuckoo’s Calling due to the weird subject to Quine’s latest novel.  But, despite that, I did quite enjoy the investigation and the various twists and turns.  As with The Cuckoo’s Calling, I wasn’t able to pick out the murderer until their unveiling at the end of the book, so I enjoyed staying in suspense for the entire ride!

A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate (by Susanna Calkins)

AMurderatRosamundsGateA Murder at Rosamund’s Gate was a pretty quick read and I really enjoyed it!  This mystery is set in 1665-1666 London.  I didn’t realize it was quite this ‘old’ since I normally enjoy stories set in at least the late 1700s, but more so in the 1800s.  Despite this, it was a very good read and even though I did guess who the murderer was, I did jump back and forth a bit in my mind as I continued through the story!

The story centers around the Hargrave family.  Lucy Campion is their chambermaid and the main character.  She and the other servants feel very fortunate to be a member of the Hargrave family since they are good to their servants and don’t look down on them as merely servants.  There are several things going on during this story – girls are being murdered and left in nearby fields, the Great Plague is about to descend on London, and the Great Fire of London is just around the corner.  Throughout all of this, Lucy dons her detective cap to try to make sense of the murder of one of her dear friends and fellow servants.

I loved how this book really dived into the way life was during that time period.  It didn’t gloss over the unpleasantries – chamber pots (and the idea of tossing their contents onto the streets), odors and smells that permeated the streets of London, death, and the atrocious view of women.  These details really helped set the scene and elevated Lucy to a higher regard with her ability to rise above all of this to improve her lot in life.  I read this morning and night since I couldn’t wait to see what happened next!  I also just found out that this is the first book in a series, so I can’t wait to start book #2!

The Other Typist (by Suzanne Rindell)

TheOtherTypistI have mixed feelings about The Other Typist and debated on whether to include this on my list this month.  I definitely enjoyed it and was definitely engrossed in the story….but….I didn’t like the ending.

The story is set in New York City in the midst of Prohibition.  Rose Baker is an uptight, plain stenographer in a police precinct in New York City.  She regularly types up confessions of criminals and seemingly has a pretty high moral compass.  That is until the day Odalie arrives and takes on the position as one of the other typists.  Odalie is beautiful, glamorous, rebellious, and wealthy.  Rose is instantly captivated and observes her every move.  Within weeks, Odalie has befriended poor, lonely Rose and they become inseparable, even going as far as Rose moving in with Odalie at her Park Avenue hotel. All seems grand and wonderful until Rose starts to see that Odalie isn’t all that she seems and even though Rose knows she’s getting involved in things she shouldn’t, she can’t stop herself.

The entire story is told from the perspective of Rose and she frequently hints at a life changing tragedy that everything is building up to, yet all isn’t revealed until the last few pages.  I was definitely fully engaged in this story and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! But, after finishing the last page, I was left a little confused and literally said ‘Huh?’.  It definitely doesn’t wrap everything up with a nice little bow at the end, BUT it leaves you thinking!  In googling this book after I finished reading it, I discovered it’s going to be made into a movie starring Keira Knightley and I can definitely see her in the movie!  It has a strong vibe of The Great Gatsby, so if you like that story, you’ll likely enjoy this one.

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If you’ve missed my past book reviews and need a few suggestions, be sure to check out my Book Report page for a complete list!

Alright friends…your turn! What are you reading these days that you just can’t put down? I’m always on the lookout for good books to read!

Comments

  1. 10

    says

    These look like some pretty interesting choices! I’m currently making my way through the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin since they were available for once from my local library. I absolutely love to read though and I try to fit in as many books as I can in between studying.

    • 11

      Vicky says

      Hi Tilly! I haven’t heard of that series, so I must check that out!! It can definitely be challenging fitting in time to read with everything else going on, right?? But, there’s just something about getting lost in a good story to make the rest of the world melt away! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. 12

    says

    Reading more is definitely one of the things on my list of things to do. It seems that with work responsibilities, trying to maintain a life and all of the other things that I’m interested in and/or doing, reading is the thing that often gets short-shrift. *sigh* Except for in summertime. I read a lot on the beach in summer time but once school starts, it gets exponentially harder to find the time. I’m going to put The Other Typist on my vacation read list. A week off at Thanksgiving is coming ;)

    • 13

      Vicky says

      Hey Jen! I hear you on being stretched thin on time! I guess it helps that I’m single…I love to read while eating dinner, just before bed, and when I first wake up in the mornings! hehehe If you read The Other Typist…let me know what you think!! I’m looking forward to seeing the movie next year to see how they do it (well..that and the period costumes!).

  3. 14

    Isabella says

    You got me interested in The Other Typist! :) And I really liked The Great Gatsby, so this might be a good read. But I am SO curios about the ending now haha!
    I’m currently reading The Phantom of the Opera and I haven’t seen the movie, so no spoilers for me :)

    • 15

      Vicky says

      Hi Isabella! If you liked the Great Gatsby, you’ll definitely like The Other Typist! I actually googled the book after I finished it to find online discussions because I was so curious what others thought about the ending. I can’t wait for the movie to come out next year! :)

  4. 16

    says

    I love reading and I love seeing what others are reading! I thought about reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, but haven’t gotten around to it quite yet. I’m about to get a book club going on my page for more wellness-type books. For fiction, I’ve been catching up on the popular Maze Runner series. Also a few other YA types.
    I’ll definitely keep an eye on your blog for good book recommendations!

    http://wholebodyblog.weebly.com/
    http://www.gladyannephotography.com/

    • 17

      Vicky says

      Hi Glady! I LOVED the Maze Runner series! I’m totally into the YA type of books :). Definitely give The Cuckoo’s Calling a try…it surprised me by how good it was!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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